It was the Blues first home and they made no mistake in ensuring the bonus-point with a hat-trick of tries from Ronan Kelleher along with further tries from Fergus McFadden, Joe Tomane, Max Deegan, Harry Byrne and Michael Milne sealing a comfortable win for the hosts.
Leinster registered the first points of the night from the boot of Ross Byrne, who knocked over a fourth minute penalty.
Byrne was at the centre of the hosts opening try as Leinster broke into the Ospreys 22-metre line and with a penalty advantage behind them, the fly-half sent a perfect cross-field kick over to McFadden who simply had to catch the ball and put the ball down over the whitewash. Byrne couldn’t add the kick from the touchline but it was 8-0 with 11 minutes gone.
Four minutes later and they were in for their second try as back-row Will Connors broke through the Ospreys’ defence before passing to Kelleher just before being tackled. From there Kelleher showed some incredible pace for a hooker to score his first try for the province. Byrne made no mistake from the tee and suddenly it was 15-0.
It took time but after some sustained Leinster pressure were over once again on 34 minutes as centre Tomane finished off a number of phases close to the opposition line by barging over the line. Byrne again added the extras to stretch the lead out to 22-0.
That’s how they went in at the half-time whistle with the boys in blue looking in full control heading into the second period.
Leinster started the second-half where they left off in the first, with the Ospreys having the ball five metres out from their own try-line Kelleher broke through a ruck, kicked the ball ahead and touched down for his second try of the game while also securing the bonus-point. Byrne hit the post with the difficult kick from the left, but it was 27-0 with four minutes gone in the second-half.
With half an hour remaining the hooker got in for his hat-trick as the Leinster pack drove forward from a maul off a line-out leaving Kelleher with the simple task of pushing the ball down over the line. Byrne was on target with the kick to give the hosts even more comfort on the scoreboard.
Another five minutes on and substitute Deegan, who was only on the pitch for three minutes, made a darting run from deep, receiving the ball just in front of the Ospreys line, where he was never going to be stopped and put the ball down for try number six for Leinster. Byrne converted with his final kick of the game as he was replaced by younger brother Harry.
Less than ten minutes after his introduction and Harry Byrne was in for his first try for Leinster in what was his home debut as he backed himself from close-range and wriggled through for the score. He failed to convert his own try but it was 46-0 with little over ten minutes remaining.
Six minutes on and fellow home debutant Milne scored his first try for Leinster as he barrelled over from close-range. This time Harry Byrne made no mistake from the tee to make it 53-0.
The Ospreys got a consolation score a minute later through Luke Morgan after they took a quick line-out inside the Leinster 22, the conversion was missed as they only walked away with the five-pointer.
Things only got worse for the away side as forward Gareth Evans was sin-binned for a shoulder tackle on McFadden, meaning they would have to play the final minutes with only 14-men.
Leinster failed to notch up any further scores but it finished 53-5 in favour of the home side as they went to the top of Conference A.
Leinster host Edinburgh next Friday when they will look to continue their winning start to the season, while the Ospreys will hope to bounce-back from this defeat when they welcome Benetton to Wales next Saturday.
Leinster Player Ratings
Hugo Keenan (7), Fergus McFadden (7), Rory O’Loughlin (7), Joe Tomane (7), James Lowe (7), Ross Byrne (8), Jamison Gibson-Park (8): Peter Dooley (7), Rónan Kelleher (9), Michael Bent (6), Devin Toner (7), Scott Fardy (8), Josh Murphy (7), Will Connors (8), Caelan Doris (8)
Scarlets provide updates on Williams & Owens
Liam Williams has recovered from a foot injury that has prevented him playing for the Scarlets so far this season. He has been released from the Wales squad to train with the Scarlets ahead of Friday’s Guinness PRO14 clash with Benetton.
Ken Owens has undergone surgery on the shoulder injury he sustained against Glasgow and it is expected he will be unavailable for three to four months.
Josh Macleod has started his rehabilitation for a hamstring injury sustained against Glasgow. He will be targeting a return to play in December.
Scarlets also confirmed that Sam Lousi has been banned for a period of four weeks as a result of his red card in the Guinness PRO14 clash with Glasgow Warriors.
Lousi was shown a red card by referee Frank Murphy (IRFU) under Law 9.13 – a Player must not tackle an opponent early, late, or dangerously. Dangerous tackling includes, but is not limited to, tackling, or attempting to tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulder even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders.
The disciplinary hearing was handled by Roddy Dunlop (Scotland) and it was accepted that the player’s actions warranted a red card for foul play. The incident was deemed a mid-range offence, which carries a six-week suspension.
Due to the player’s previous disciplinary record (red card for punching incident, February 2020) the judicial officer could not offer full mitigation therefore, resulting in a four-week suspension.
Lousi is free to resume playing from midnight on November 9, 2020
Marcus Rea to start for Ulster v Ospreys
The 23-year-old – who was Player of the Match in his sole previous Ulster appearance as a replacement against Leinster in April 2019 – has been named at openside flanker. Marcus’s older brother Matty – Player of the Match in last weekend’s bonus point win over Benetton – is named alongside him at blindside, with Marcell Coetzee once again packing down at number eight.
Jack McGrath, Rob Herring and Marty Moore have been given the front row starting berths, and Alan O’Connor has been selected along with captain Iain Henderson in the second row.
Matt Faddes returns to the starting side on the right wing and will join Jacob Stockdale at full-back and Rob Lyttle on the left wing. Last week’s midfield duo of Stewart Moore and James Hume has been retained. Ian Madigan comes in to start at fly-half, pairing with John Cooney at scrum-half.
The coaching team has opted for a 6-2 bench split. Adam McBurney, Eric O’Sullivan, Gareth Milasinovich, Kieran Treadwell, Greg Jones and Sean Reidy provide the forward options, with David Shanahan and Louis Ludik offering back line cover.
Ulster team to play Ospreys Rugby, Guinness PRO14 Round 2, Saturday 10 October 2020, at Liberty Stadium (kick-off 5.15pm, live on Premier Sports):
(15-9) Jacob Stockdale, Matt Faddes, James Hume, Stewart Moore, Rob Lyttle, Ian Madigan, John Cooney. (1-8) Jack McGrath, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Iain Henderson (Capt.) , Matthew Rea, Marcus Rea, Marcell Coetzee. Replacements: Adam McBurney, Eric O’Sullivan, Gareth Milasinovich, Kieran Treadwell, Greg Jones, David Shanahan, Louis Ludik, Sean Reidy.
Munster confirm COVID-19 case. Training suspended.
Munster Rugby have been assisting a senior player who has tested positive for Covid-19.
The latest PCR testing carried out on Monday at the HPC has returned a positive result for a player who is asymptomatic. To remove any doubt of a potential false positive the player will be retested tomorrow.
The individual, who was not part of the travelling group at the weekend, and six other players identified by Munster Rugby as potential close contacts, are currently self-isolating.
This approach of identifying possible close contacts is in line with the caution we have taken to this issue, these players may not be deemed close contacts by the HSE.
As a precautionary measure, the squad and academy will not train at the HPC today.
The HSE have been notified for contract tracing purposes.
Munster Rugby Head of Medical, Dr Jamie Kearns, said: “As an immediacy we are taking every precaution by standing down training today.
“We are going to complete another round of PCR testing tomorrow so that we can return to training on Thursday.
“Our priority is to ensure the health and safety of our players and staff, and we will continue to work closely with both the IRFU and HSE in this regard.”
Statement from Munster Rugby
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